The saying goes, ‘do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ Tim O’Brien, owner of Shamrock Fine Woodworking,’ exemplifies that saying.
He was introduced to woodworking when he was ten years old by a neighbor back in Michigan and he ‘has never looked back.’ His high school studies centered around the trades and when he graduated in 1975, his class the last to have the option to taking any classes in trades as the following school year they were eliminated for budgetary reasons.
He spent a few years working in home building and remodeling before moving to Colorado in ’81 where he began an apprenticeship with Aren Design, who was then in Eagle-Vail and now in Dotsero. The owner was a European trained master craftsman, who also signed off his master’s piece, which was a high-boy secretary.
By the early 90s, O’Brien had established Shamrock Fine Woodworking here in Eagle and his current workroom and office is off Chambers Avenue. He credits his success in Eagle County to the high net-worth individuals who have vacation homes in the area and are looking for unique furniture pieces to compliment their décor. He also acknowledges that he gets new ideas by working closely with his clients in the design of their new pieces.
A few years, he established his online business with 115 individual items that are listed on www.etsy.com/shop/shamrockfinewoodwork. Today, he estimates that 5-10 percent of his business comes from online. For example, in the photo O’Brien is shown with a military uniform display case that he designed in 2011 and this one will be sent to a client in Idaho. The case has an embossed glass insert with the name of the individual and his date of military service. This same style of case is also available for swords.
When asked what makes a good craftsman, O’Brien said, “You must always have the end in mind, which means being able to visualize all sides of the project.”